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Black Philanthropy: Overcoming the Wealth Gap to Build on a Legacy of Giving

It took a lot—challenge and hardship, camaraderie and community—to get to the shared urgency and visibility on issues of race that the world witnessed in 2020. Through a report and short documentary, Echoing Green’s Invest in Black Leaders campaign reflects on the changes that must take root in the philanthropic landscape to equitably support Black leaders and racial justice work for the long-haul, and to truly sustain this moment into a movement. 

Echoing Green’s Senior Director of Global Partnerships & Equity Tiffany Thompson commented on this topic for Philanthropy News Digest in an article written by Lauren Brathwaite. Read an excerpt below, or view the full article here.

Nonprofits are grappling with new questions about how to harness the scale of giving in support of the Black community by donors of color and funders dedicated to race-conscious giving to create changes in Black philanthropy’s visibility and proliferation. What do foundations need to do to advance the needs of the Black community? What do Black-led nonprofits recommend regarding those needs? How does racial equity play a part in the current giving landscape? And what is the long-term outlook for Black philanthropy?

In a post on the Candid blog, “Reframe, commit, and expand: How to meaningfully invest in Black leaders,” Tiffany Thompson, senior director for global partnerships and equity thought leadership at Echoing Green, argued that there is a clear and present need for a significant shift in how the philanthropic sector supports Black leaders since long-term commitments to funding Black leaders and communities are episodic at best.

In an interview with PND, Thompson elaborated: “Echoing Green’s president, Cheryl Dorsey, often says we can’t fix what we can’t measure. A big part of what we have to fix is the ways in which the philanthropic sector is transparent. How do we report how much of the funding is going to racial equity work? What types of funding are being given that are unrestricted and flexible? Ultimately, when we talk about investing from a race equity standpoint, the philanthropic norms, the mindsets, and the cultures within those organizations really have to shift from a practice of accountability to trust. And a big part of what we talk about in our Black Voices, Black Spaces: The Power of Black Innovation report is if you had been trusting and listening to black leaders for decades, you would have known what is really needed in our communities.”

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